Preview 2018: UNLV Rebels. And Here Comes The Payoff

Preview 2018: UNLV Rebels. And Here Comes The Payoff

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: UNLV Rebels. And Here Comes The Payoff

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What You Need To Know About The UNLV Defense

– Help is on the way from new defensive coordinator Tim Skipper for a D that finished 113th in the nation and struggled was too much up front. There wasn’t anything happening against the run, and there wasn’t nearly enough pressure in the backfield. How are things about to change? Skipper is about to unleash the linebackers.

– The Rebels have a slew of interesting hybrid types in their linebacking corps. Gabe McCoy finished second on the team in tackles, and while he’s built like a safety, he’s about to be a bigger rock star on the weakside as a disruptive force behind the line.

Javin White is the size of a decent corner, but he’s on outside linebacker whose sole job it is to run around and make things happen. There’s not a lot of thump or size, but the group will be disruptive.

– Losing tackles Pops Fao and Mike Hughes kills the bulk. The hope is for a slew of players to work in a variety of way both inside and out, starting with end Nick Dehdashtian – a 6-1, 290-pound breakout lineman ready to do a whole lot more for a line that simply didn’t do enough things that mattered. Most importantly they have to generate the pressure to help out a promising secondary.

Dalton Baker is one of the Mountain West’s better all-around safeties, and Jericho Flowers is a feisty, physical corner who’ll be the No. 1 guy. There are enough lost parts to be annoying, but unlike the linebacking corps, there’s decent size among the defensive backs.

Biggest Key To The UNLV Defense

Pressure, pressure, pressure. You’ll have to forgive Rebel fans if they’re not quite sure what a sack looks like. It’s not as bad as 2015 when the D came up with a mere eight sacks, but the 2017 defense made just 11, with three of them – oddly enough – against Ohio State and two against Hawaii. The other six were spread around among the other ten games, but that’s all about to change. There will be occasional problems, but this year’s D will sell out when it has to.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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